Thursday, 2 December 2021

Opposition for Two-thirds Majority Regarding COVID Certificates, Fines

ZAGREB, 2 Dec 2021 - The opposition on Thursday criticized the government's proposal to fine HRK 30,000 to 50,000 those not checking COVID certificates, asking that parliament decide on such measures by a two-thirds majority and some MPs saying they would ask the Constitutional Court for its opinion.

Arsen Bauk of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said the SDP would not support the proposal because the party believed that the way in which the national COVID-19 crisis management team was making decisions during this crisis was not good.

"We are still of the opinion that when restricting human rights, decisions should be made by the Croatian parliament, and those of a technical nature by the government," he said, adding that the team could act as an advisory body to the government.

Nikola Grmoja of Bridge said the government did not mention COVID certificates in the law protecting the population from infectious diseases but only today, and that it envisaged fining officeholders also.

Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc asked that provisions on the certificates and the related fines be adopted only by a two-thirds majority in parliament based on Article 17 of the Constitution, given that there were no conditions to do so based on Article 16, that is proportionality.

"That was a big mistake, so we are preparing an initiative for the Constitutional Court to have its say because this state is no longer temporary. We have been in a state of emergency for a year and a half now and it doesn't seem that the pandemic will end soon," she said.

That's why it's necessary to have clear rules on how to reach a political and social consensus because this state, Benčić said, will definitely last and it also has serious social repercussions such as polarisation.

The Constitutional Court too must say that we are in a state of emergency because after a year and a half no one can say any longer that this is normal, she added.

Stephen Bartulica of the Homeland Movement said he had been skeptical about the efficacy of COVID certificates from the start because, he added, the experience of many countries showed that they were ineffective and counterproductive as well as not solving the problem.

He is sorry about the government's proposal because so far, he said, it had quite a liberal course in fighting the pandemic and Croatia benefitted from it. Now a new path was chosen, he added, "and I don't know why it's following countries with a bad model of fighting the pandemic."

Katarina Peović of Workers' Front said the state authorities were indecisive about vaccination and where COVID certificates should be required. In a library they are, in a bar, they are not, as a result of which we have 60 to 70 deaths a day, she added.

In post-socialist countries, where the public sector has been strongly devastated, there is a big distrust of institutions, and that's brought us into this situation, she said.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Gov't Amends Law to Introduce Fines for Noncompliance with COVID Certificate Mandate

ZAGREB, 2 Dec 2021 - Changes to the Act on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases, sent on Thursday by the government to the parliament for consideration under a fast-track procedure, envisage fines for responsible persons not complying with the COVID-19 certificate mandate in bodies governed by public law. 

The fines range between HRK 30,000 and 50,000.

The changes specify the bodies governed by public law in charge of implementing measures from the said law as well as responsible persons in those bodies - leader of a body of state authority, leader of a body of state administration and other state body, county head, the mayor as well as the legal representative of the legal entity, in line with special regulations.

"The bill introduces a new safety measure, the obligation to present proof of testing, vaccination or recovery from an infectious disease before entering offices of bodies governed by public law, as well as the obligation of responsible persons in those bodies to enable its implementation," said Health Minister Vili Beroš.

To ensure the implementation of the new measure, the powers of health inspectors will be enhanced to enable them to supervise compliance with the COVID-19 certificate mandate, while failure to ensure its implementation carries a fine of between HRK 30,000 and 50,000.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a session of the government, Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica said that he was not afraid that the fines would prompt protests, reiterating that the government was not considering making vaccination mandatory.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Minister Says Number of New Infections Down Compared to Last Week

ZAGREB, 2 Dec 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said at a government session on Thursday that the number of new coronavirus infections was down 14.5% from the previous week and that the number of hospitalizations was also slightly smaller even though pressure on the health system was still significant.

The test positivity rate in the past 24 hours was 38.35%, a drop of 14.5% compared to last week and 26.5% compared to two weeks ago.

A total of 2,391 people are hospitalized, which is a slight decrease in the number of hospitalizations. In the past 24 hours, 30 people were put on ventilators and 24 of them are unvaccinated, said Beroš.

Despite the decline in the number of infections, hospitals are still under strain and the situation is most difficult in the northwest of Croatia, in the hospitals in Zabok, Varaždin, Čakovec and Koprivnica, where nurses and ventilators from other health institutions are being sent.

"The capacity for the admission of COVID-19 patients keeps increasing, and over the past month, the number of beds for those patients was increased from 2,253 to 3,580, which is currently insufficient. The number of hospitalizations in that period grew by 85%, from 1,330 to 2,545," he said.

As for the new coronavirus variant Omicron, the minister said that it was considered more dangerous because it had twice as many mutations as the Delta variant. However, experts note that vaccines continue to provide a high degree of protection from severe clinical symptoms and hospitalization, he said.

A total of 209,000 people have received the third vaccine dose so far.

As for vaccination with the first and second doses, one should strive to achieve the vaccination rate of Zagreb (75%), with the 70-74 age group having the highest vaccination rate, with 90% having received at least one shot.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

PHOTOS: Spectacular Kaleidoscope Lights of Osijek City Day and Advent 2021

December 02, 2021 – A spectacular light show exploded across Ante Starčević square in Osijek this evening, welcoming hundreds of visitors to Osijek City Day and to the opening of Osijek Advent 2021. Among those gathered to witness the colourful display was the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković.

263403535_4677350128969693_4353480490300971166_n.jpg© TZ Grad Osijek

In recent times, Osijek's Ante Starčević square has seldom looked so thrilling. It is a wide and open city square - the only place in Osijek where the city tram lines all meet. Except for one modern sculpture and a statue of Ante Starčević, the square is floored with featureless concrete. The fine facades of surrounding Austro-Hungarian buildings have seen better years. In many instances, these historic frontages are cheapened by gaudy branded signage and advertisements.

PXL_021221_90938596_1.jpg© Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL

But, tonight, all the unsightly modern scars were hidden as an ocean of patterns and colours danced across the square. Children skipped along new pathways created by the brilliant lights' design. Now in its third year, these bright embellishments are part of the Kaleidoscope Festival of Lights. The arrival of its magical scenes heralds not only the start of this year's Osijek Advent but also marks Osijek City Day 2021.

Osijek City Day - 2 December

Mario_Đurkić_Horizont_solutions.jpgFrom above, Osijek's Tvrda and the Drava river © Mario Đurkić / Horizont solutions / TZ Grad Osijek

People have lived on this part of the Drava river for millennia. But, quite often, the modern life of Osijek city is only viewed as having begun after the Ottomans were removed by the Battle of Mohács. From 1687, Osijek and the eastern part of Croatia were part of the Habsburg Empire. But, Osijek remained close to the border of the new encroachment on Ottoman territory. Defensive fortresses were built along this line of defence, in Stara Gradiška, Osijek and Slavonski Brod in Slavonia and in Petrovaradin in Syrmia/Srem (Serbia).

Today, Osijek's fortress - Tvrđa – contains the largest collection of Baroque buildings in Croatia. It is a fantastic and picturesque location. There, Osijek's old city walls spectacularly overlook the Drava river. But, back when the city's defence was all-important, these walls made it difficult for Osijek to expand. Progress and growth proved impossible to hinder and, with the threat of the Ottomans becoming ever smaller, the population of Osijek simply began to settle outside the walls of Tvrđa. Indeed, today, residents of the city regard Osijek as having three centres – Lower Town, Tvrđa and Upper Town aka Ante Starčević square.

PXL_021221_90938602_1.jpgLights in Upper Town turned on as part of Osijek City Day 2021 © Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL

At the beginning of the 18th century, separate magistrates resided over Osijek's Lower and Upper Towns, effectively marking them as independent city municipalities. In order to gain status as a free and royal city, local authorities were eventually persuaded to unify the different municipalities on 2 December 1786. Since then, 2 December has been celebrated as Osijek City Day.

Kaleidoscope Festival of Light and Osijek Advent 2021

lampice47.jpg© TZ Grad Osijek

The incredible light show on Ante Starčević square is just one part of an Advent manifestation that, like the city itself, stretches long down the side of the Drava river.

262257854_4665415346829838_5031405380697064902_n.jpg© TZ Grad Osijek

The first candle of Advent 2021 was lit by the Archbishop of Đakovo-Osijek Đuro Hranić on Sunday 28 November. Osijek City Day celebrations are the second key milestone of the Christmas holiday season. City-wide Christmas lights were formally turned on today at the Croatian National Theatre Osijek.

PXL_021221_90938521_1.jpg© Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL

Osijek Advent 2021 includes the return of the Kaleidoscope Festival of Light and Osijek Advent Tram - which is visited by almost 15,000 people each season. Christmas lights extend down European Avenue, passing some of the city's most grandiose Austro-Hungarian architecture. Thereafter, the trail comes 'off road' and takes you through the trees of King Tomislav Park. Next, Tvrđa assumes the focal point of Advent, with a Winter Lookout on the roof of the Cultural Centre, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Sokol ice rink and the tallest Ferris Wheel in Croatia being key highlights.

grada2.jpgPhoto from Osijek Advent 2020 © TZ Grad Osijek

If you want to read more about Osijek, see the Total Croatia guide here. And, if you want to keep up with news from Osijek, bookmark Total Croatia News's Osijek pages here

grada.jpgPhoto from Osijek Advent 2020 © TZ Grad Osijek

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Iron Maiden in Croatia 2022: Legendary Band Announces Concert in Zagreb

December 2, 2021 - The legendary British heavy metal band will perform on Sunday, May 22 at Arena Zagreb. Iron Maiden in Croatia was originally planned in 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. Now, as part of their Legacy of the Beast tour, the concert will be a reality!

Great news for Croatian rock and heavy metal lovers, as Iron Maiden in Croatia will finally be a reality after the mythical band formed in Leyton, East London, announced through its website and social networks that the city of Zagreb would be part of its Legacy of the Beast tour in Europe. The tour was originally scheduled for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to be postponed.

By 2022, those led by vocalist Bruce Dickinson already had a large number and a variety of European cities confirmed for their tour. However, yesterday at 4:00 pm they announced on their official Facebook page that six European cities would be included. The Croatian capital of Zagreb will not only now be part of the Legacy of the Beast tour, but it will also be the first date of the English band's tour in Europe, which will feature its historic lineup: Steve Harris, on bass, guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Janick Gers, and drummer Nicko McBrain. Additionally, the metal band Lord of the Lost will be a special guest.

Iron Maiden, founded by Harris in 1975, also confirmed the European capitals Belgrade (Serbia), Bucharest (Romania), Kyiv (Ukraine), Sofia (Bulgaria), and Athens (Greece) within the list of cities that will be part of the tour. The general sale of tickets for the concert at Arena Zagreb that will take place on May 22nd will be next Monday, December 6th. However, a pre-sale stage of tickets to see Iron Maiden in Croatia will begin tomorrow, Friday, December 3rd.

The Legacy of the Beast tour adds to a long list of Iron Maiden tours, festivals, and concerts for over forty years. To date, the heavy metal band has toured 59 countries and played more than 2,000 concerts. The tour that will include Zagreb in 2022 has 136 confirmed dates around the world, and those who attend, both loyal veterans and part of a new generation of fans, will be able to enjoy their best classics and hits like ''The Trooper'', ''Hallowed Be Thy Name'', ''Run to the Hills'', ''Fear of the Dark'', ''The Number of the Beast'', ''Aces High'', ''2 Minutes to Midnight'', ''Phantom of the Opera'', ''Running Free'', and many more from a band that has not lost its energy on stage, in addition to always including incredible surprises in their shows such as pyrotechnics, walking giant-sized models of the band's mascot, Eddie the Head, and much more.

For more information, details, and the full list of dates for the Iron Maiden tour that will include Zagreb, visit their official Facebook and Instagram pages and their official website.

For more concerts news, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Croatia Airlines Advent Calendar Offers Special Discounts and Prizes

December 2, 2021 - As part of the campaign prior to the Christmas celebrations, users who access the Croatia Airlines Advent calendar will find daily special offers, discounts, and prizes, some that include up to 50% discount on flight tickets with the national company.

Although the greatest availability and demand for flights to or from Croatia occurs in the summer, December is a month where air traffic is justified under the pretext of reuniting with family and friends during the Christmas holidays. This year's Croatia Airlines Advent calendar presents special prizes to users of its services every day until Christmas Eve, reports Turističke Priče.

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In the month of giving, it is enough to visit the LINK where a special one-day Advent offer will be opened every day. By opening the Croatian Airlines Advent calendar window, all travel lovers can discover many surprises and gifts, including discounts (up to 50%) for purchasing airline tickets on selected domestic and international flights of Croatia Airlines, upgrades from economy to business class, Economy Comfort seats and many other benefits. The offer of the day will be announced every day at 9 am.

Today's offer of the day will be interesting for all those who decide to travel by plane from Osijek to Munich. Namely, if you decide to buy a plane ticket today, you will receive a 50% discount on the Osijek - Munich route, and the discount is applicable to all passengers in one reservation.

The Advent calendar offers travelers from Croatia and abroad the possibility of cheaper travel and additional quality of service, while at the same time an excellent opportunity to choose a valuable gift in the month of giving that can be shared with family members, friends or simply choose a gift for yourself.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated section.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

IBTM Barcelona: Great Interest in Slavonia as an Incentive Destination

December 2, 2021 - The Croatian National Tourist Board is presenting the Croatian tourist offer as part of the IBTM Barcelona, which has been held until today. Exceptional interest during the event was expressed for Slavonia as an incentive destination that represents something different on the market.

After last year's online edition, the fair is being held in person again this year, so numerous meetings of domestic and foreign partners from the business travel segment have been held, reports Turističke Priče. Namely, in addition to the Croatian Tourist Board as the main exhibitor, seven co-exhibitors present their offer at the fair, including the congress offices of Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Opatija and Valamar, Liburnia Hotels & Villas, Le meridien Lav Split, and Spektar putovanja.

According to the first feedback from the IBTM Barcelona, many partners from the Polish and Ukrainian markets are interested in creating additional offers with Croatian destinations in the business travel segment, while Turkish partners are announcing great interest in Advent programs in our country. Also, exceptional interest during the stock exchange was expressed for Slavonia as an incentive destination that represents something new, different on the market, and which is adorned with a very rich and authentic offer.

Croatian partners, who have already received concrete inquiries for 2022, are also satisfied with the performance on the event, during which the main advantages of Croatia, as business tourism destinations, could be quality infrastructure, proximity, and accessibility; historical heritage, nature, top eno-gastronomy, etc.

Let us add that this event presents more than 3,000 destinations and providers, who have the opportunity for business meetings with more than 15,000 professionals from the business travel industry. The IBTM Barcelona congress, along with the IMEX Frankfurt, are the most important events of its type in Europe and the world.

If you want to learn more about Osijek, Vukovar, Vinkovci, Đakovo, Baranja, Slavonski Brod, and other magical destinations in Slavonia, be sure to check all the full detailed guides at Total Croatia here.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Opatija Chocolate Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow For Its 15th Edition

December 2, 2021 - From December 3 to 5, visitors to the Opatija Chocolate Festival will not only be able to taste the irresistible delicacies of twenty domestic and foreign producers but also experience many more "sweet surprises" prepared by the organizers.

Opatija and chocolate have been inextricably linked for years thanks to the Chocolate Festival event, the largest and oldest Croatian event dedicated to this irreplaceable food, which in 2021 celebrates its jubilee.

The fairy-tale atmosphere of the luxuriously decorated Advent city will be a great backdrop for top-quality desserts that will return to the Crystal Hall of the Kvarner Hotel exclusively for the 15th Opatija Chocolate Festival. The occasion also requires a festive ambiance, so the jubilee of the sweetest Opatija event will be celebrated under the famous crystal chandeliers of the oldest Croatian hotel.

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Photo: Visit Opatija Facebook Page

From December 3 to 5, visitors to the Opatija Chocolate Festival will be able to taste the irresistible delicacies of twenty domestic and foreign producers, but also experience many more "sweet surprises" prepared by the organizers. It will be a unique opportunity to enjoy the unique desserts that, except in the specialty stores of the present "craft" chocolatiers, can only be purchased at this fair.

The event will feature chocolate delicacies made in Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, and the program will also include chocolate-themed workshops, lectures, tastings, and concerts.

Romantic winter evenings in Advent Opatija will be sweetened by the largest and longest-running Croatian event dedicated to chocolate, and hedonistic pleasure in divine flavors will be complemented by a special program at the Opatija chocolate factory Milenij Choco, as well as specially designed chocolate desserts in many hotels and restaurants. This sweet "lifestyle" will not only stay on the palate, but you will be able to enjoy chocolate with your whole body because this food will "interfere" with the treatments of Opatija's spa & wellness centers.

An opulent stretch of Austro-Hungarian finery on the beautiful Kvarner coast, Opatija was Croatia’s first-ever tourist destination. As popular now as it always was, it’s easy to see why. If you want to learn more about the location of the Chocolate Festival in December, be sure to check Total Croatia's Opatija in a Page guide by clicking HERE. Now in your language!

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

2022 Croatian Cup Final to be Played at Poljud Stadium in Split

December 2, 2021 - After the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup quarterfinal matches came to a close on Wednesday, the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation decided that the Croatian Cup final match would be played in Split, namely at Poljud Stadium.

This season, the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final will be played at Poljud Stadium, which is comforting news for Hajduk fans after the Split club advanced to the semifinals with a victory against Lokomotiva Tuesday. The Croatian Football Federation decided on Poljud after choosing between Karlovac, Koprivnica, and Split, reports HNS.

At the suggestion of the HNS Competition Commission, the Executive Board of the Federation decided that the final of the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup will be played at the Poljud Stadium in Split and that the final match will be played on May 26, 2022. It will be the first Croatian Cup final at Poljud played in a single game.

On Monday at 11 am, the draw will decide which pairs are in the semifinals. Gorica, Hajduk, Osijek, and Rijeka remain in the competition, and the matches are scheduled for March 2022. 

After the draw at noon, Hajduk president Lukša Jakobušić will meet with HNS president Marijan Kustić at the federation's headquarters on Vukovarska, a year after meeting with his predecessor Davor Šuker, when he said he would "leave the federation alone," reports 24 Sata

Since 2016, when the Croatian Cup changed the format and one final match was introduced, the Cup final has been hosted by Osijek, Varaždin, Vinkovci, Pula, Šibenik, and Velika Gorica.

Recall, in the quarterfinal matches which were played on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Gorica topped Istra on penalties, Hajduk beat Lokomotiva 6:3, and Osijek beat Belupo on penalties. In the last quarterfinal, Rijeka knocked out Dinamo 3:1, which forced the resignation of Dinamo coach Damir Krznar. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Game of Thrones-Related Tourism Brings €180m to Croatia

ZAGREB, 2 Dec 2021 - Film tourism related to the mega-popular HBO series "Game of Thrones", the filming of which began in Dubrovnik and elsewhere in Dalmatia ten years ago, brought into the Croatian economy a total of €180.7 million between 2013 and 2018, or €30.1 million annually. 

The figures were published in an article in the scientific journal Oeconomica Jadertina, issued by the University of Zadar. The article was written by Martin Vukašin and Josip Miočić from Zadar and Mirela Brechelmacher from Slavonski Brod.

The filming of the popular television series spawned a new type of tourism service, including trips to filming locations such as the Walls of Dubrovnik, the Palace of Diocletian in Split, the Klis Fortress, and the Krka falls in Krka National Park. Some travel agencies offer routes where particular Game of Thrones episodes was shot, the article says.

The BuzzFeed website, which has more than 80 million visits a month, has included Dubrovnik among the 18 most popular film tourism destinations.

The fourth season of the Game of Thrones series attracted a record 18.4 million viewers per episode.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

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